If you want to put in composite decking, you might be wondering if you should use nails or screws. Most decking homeowners have used nails to install their decking. This kind of installation method is common with timber decking. But since composite decking replaces wood, is it right to nail composite decking? This write-up examines if nailing composite decking is the right option. 

Using Nails to Install Decking

There are several methods of installing decking available. You can use screws to install your decking. Aside from screws, you can use nails to install decking. The newest method of installing decking is by using hidden fasteners. How you install a decking depends on the kind of boards that you purchase. Do you have wood decking boards? Decking installers have two options when installing wood decking. Nails and screws are the options. Nails are driven down the boards from the top and secure to the joists. If screws are used, they are driven into the boards by first pre-drilling the board. 

Wood Decking

Wood decking is a type of decking that is made with timber. This decking material is installed using the surface installation method. If you are planning to install wood decking, you will use either nails or screws. Most homeowners use nails. After laying the boards on the joists, nails are driven into the decking by hitting with a hammer. One thing about using nails to install timber decking is that they will appear on the surface of your decking. This means that after you have installed the decking, you will see the top of the nails. This will distort the appearance of wood decking. At times, owners of wood decking do paint the top of their decking to conceal the nail. 

Composite Decking

This decking type is a little different from timber decking. There are several kinds of composite decking that you can use to build decking. One kind is the grooved decking, while the other kind is the ungrooved decking. If you want to install grooved decking, you don’t need nails. This implies that you don’t have to nail down grooved composite decking. Ungrooved composite decking is different, and you can either use nails or screws. 

Grooved Composite Decking

use screws to install composite decking

This kind of decking has hollows or channels on its sides. Grooved decking is installed using clips and fasteners. The clips will hold down the decking at the sides, while the fasteners will hold down the clip to the joists. Clips and fasteners have their advantages. When you use them to install your composite decking, they won’t appear at the top. Since grooved decking holds down the boards at their sides, they will remain within the gaps without appearing on top. 

Ungrooved Composite Decking

Unlike grooves that have hollows at their sides, ungrooved ones don’t have hollows. The best way to install ungrooved decking is by using nails or screws. Using nails is a bad practice when installing composite decking because of the risk of splitting the board. The nails are driven into the composite boards from the top. If you put in too much force and the nail is too large, you can split the board. That is why we recommend that if you are installing ungrooved boards, you should use screws. Before driving the screws, you have to pre-drill the board first. This will ensure that you don’t crack your composite boards when installing them. 

The Right Method to Install Composite Decking

The right Method to install composite decking is by using clips and fasteners. This implies that you must purchase grooved boards that have hollows at their sides. Using clips and fasteners come with the advantage of beautifying the surface of your decking. This is because the clips or fasteners will not appear on the top of the decking. You don’t have to paint the top of your decking to conceal the top of either nails or screws when you use the clips and fasteners. Aside from that, clips and fasteners have the advantage of being easy to remove or detach. If you want to change a decking board, you can easily remove the clips from the grooved sides of the decking.


Can I nail composite decking? When installing composite decking, you don’t have to nail the boards with nails. The best method to install your composite boards is by using screws and clips.

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